Sometimes I wonder what it takes for an experience to essentially change you and your point of view. I've always been an emotional traveler. I've always wanted to hold on and leave traces of myself wherever I go. Most writers feared the though of not being remembered. I always figured that a place would never forget.
Leaving begins with a fear from deep inside. Something tells you that you're about to be ripped from the present moment - all ties severed. There's a sadness, but there's also the hope that someone at home might be able to understand what you've been through and what you've seen.
Leaving Italy is not only unnerving because I love the culture. A lot is about to change at home. School, friends, job search - this time it's back to reality. Despite my usual optimism (I couldn't wait to start university), I can't help but feel overwhelmed.
We (Amanda and I - 2/3s of the Tre Canadesi) continue to look at our pictures - especially those in Positano. We can't say that we didn't take it in. We also agree that our hearts will always be on the Costiera Amalfitana.
We can pretend our trip was filled with glamour, luxurious hotels and designer purchases, but we'd be lying. We're real girls with multiple mishaps and wouldn't have had it any other way. When Guido at Acquachiara described me as "chic and reserved" I suppose that meant I was pulling it off. But who can carry that 24/7? That "chic and reserved" girl is also the one who had chocolate smeared on her face while enjoying a fresh cornetto after partying in Amalfi till dawn. Sometimes you've got to sweat it out on the Circumvesuviana to get to that terrazzo in the sky.
In the end we savoured the gelato and charmed the locals. We suffered from sunburns, watched the sunrise and had a drink named after us in the process (it's called Tre Canadesi if you must know). We attended an impromptu birthday party, a family reunion and heard some marching bands. We perfected the arts of making Canada proud, dodging sketchy locals and sipping aperitivo - all with a smile.
But how much of our experience can we actually bring home? A Pinko bag, DSquared2 sunglasses and photos that can't begin to capture our adventure are all heading back toward a Canadian fall. While a part of our hearts and anything that weighed down the luggage will stay.
Now it's time to pack up and say goodbye. Until next time I can say that it was the best trip ever.
For all that didn't happen in Terracina. For all of the sunrises we saw on the coast. For all of the night outfits we didn't get to wear in Rome. For us. Alla Nostra.